Newly elected Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has also picked up the role of Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development.
As he was officially sworn in to the deputy job this morning, Joyce also revealed he’ll take over the cabinet portfolios from Michael McCormack who he deposed in the National leadership spill yesterday.
It’s the second time Joyce has held the transport industry’s top cabinet role, having served a short stint from December 2017 to February 2018 before resigning from the front bench and Nationals leadership after revelations of an affair with a former staffer.
He was also accused of sexually harassing a WA businesswoman, which he denied.
Joyce is the fourth transport minister since the Coalition came to power in 2013, with Warren Truss and Darren Chester also in the chair during that time.
Queensland senator Matt Canavan described the leadership switch as a restoration, not a revolution, and said Joyce would be a loud, leading voice for rural Australians.
“There are a whole lot of Australians out there who feel ignored, who feel their views are derided sometimes, and Barnaby is their voice,” Senator Canavan told Nine.
“He fights for the issues that matter to those people; the defence of their job, the industries, the communities.”